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Move Over, Kale: This Is the Most Nutritious Vegetable You Can Eat

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 10/08/2017 Brooke Nelson

© RossHelen/Shutterstock The Watercress Company/Shutterstock Sure, kale can pack a big punch. And broccoli is chock-full of cancer-fighting antioxidants. But there’s another leafy green veggie that should be on your radar—and odds are, you’ve never even heard of it.

Say hello to watercress, spinach’s tiny but mighty counterpart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, watercress is the most nutrient-dense vegetable you can eat. (You’ll want to add all of the healthiest vegetables you can eat to your diet, too.)

Appearances can be deceiving when it comes to this fun-sized superfood. Watercress may be small, but it ranks high Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). The ANDI score measures the ratio of vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content to caloric content of all kinds of food. Watercress earned the highest rank possible, meaning it provides a high amount of nutrients for a small amount of calories.

And the rank was well-earned. One cup of watercress contains more than 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin K, which protects your bones. Its high doses of calcium, magnesium, and potassium may help bring down high blood pressure, and it can even protect against the negative side effects of cancer treatment. Plus, research has suggested this leafy green could improve your skin and reduce wrinkles, to boot.

Not only is watercress fresh and nutritious, but its versatility also makes it a great addition to salads and smoothies alike. Translation: If you’re looking for a veggie that has perks for your health and your waistline, look no further than watercress. And while you’re at it, you should be eating these miracle superfoods, too.


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